Auction featuring stolen bicycles raises money for Anchorage YMCA
Anson Renshaw and his young son Lloyd went to the Anchorage YMCA over the weekend — not to workout, but to find a bargain.
"We just want to look for some new bikes to see for my kids," he said. "Really, I'm here for my own self, but I do see some nice kid bikes."
Renshaw was part of a large crowd that turned out to look at the nearly 200 bicycles up for sale during the annual APD and YMCA Bike Auction. The bikes, all of which had been previously stolen, are sold to raise money for the YMCA's youth programs.
Officials with the Anchorage Police Department said they recover between 800 and 900 bikes every year. Most of the time, they have to dispose of them because they don't know who the owner is.
"It was always surprising to me, and I've done it myself, you know it's hard to always remember to copy down your serial numbers," said APD Captain Josh Nolder. "Let's say your bike gets stolen, you have video of it, but you don't have your serial number and I think we've all talked about it in, you know, several years about how those bicycles can't be tracked back to that individual owner."
The bicycles that are unable to be returned end up on the auction block. On Saturday, organizers say the bike auction raised more than $10,000 after this year's collection went home to new owners.
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